The Louvre can be presented in many ways: you can talk about its impressive building, the Tuileries gardens, its glass pyramid, its Egyptian art collection or Da Vinci's Giocconda and the Venus de Milo. My recommendation is to buy your tickets in advance so you don't have to wait in queues for hours at the door. These are the best options you can find online:
Access to the Louvre without queues at the best prices
Perfect if you are eager to wander through the endless corridors and galleries of the Louvre at your own pace, without having to join an organised group but without wasting time queuing at the ticket office.
If you want to visit the Louvre on your own, I recommend that you buy your ticket in advance online, as you can enter the museum whenever you want, spend as much time inside as you want and stop to look at the works that interest you most. Don't forget to pick up the free map of the museum at the entrance if you want to locate the major works in each room quickly: the map is designed precisely for this purpose and will be very useful to help you find your way around.
As for the audio guide, it is highly recommended. It costs five euros at the entrance, is in several languages and is usually included in many ticket packages.
Why I like this option: this option allows you to avoid endless queues, visit the museum for as long as you want and decide for yourself which works you want to stop at.
Recommended if... you want to enjoy the museum at your own pace, without fixed schedules or guided groups.
How to buy tickets to the Louvre
If you want to visit the Louvre, you can enter Hellotickets and buy your tickets to the Louvre quickly and easily. You can also buy your tickets at the ticket office but, in this case, you will have to wait in long queues and you may run the risk of missing out.
What I do recommend is to book a skip-the-line guided tour of the Louvre Museum.
Louvre ticket prices
The price of tickets to the Louvre on Hellotickets without queues and access to the temporary exhibitions, is around 20€.
You also have the option to book a combined experience and in addition to the tickets to the Louvre take a cruise on the Seine, in which case the cost will be from 50€.
Or even take a guided tour without queues in which you will be accompanied by a professional guide who will explain the different collections that you can enjoy along the tour.
Enjoy a guided tour of the Louvre
In my opinion, a guided tour is the ideal way to enjoy the Louvre, as there is so much to see that it is the best way to take in the immensity of this museum in the shortest possible time. What's more, you'll be freed from the queues at the entrance.
And thanks to an expert guide who will accompany you throughout the tour, you will get all the details of the main works such as the Venus de Milo, the Victory of Samothrace or Liberty Leading the People. This way, you'll be sure to see all the major works and leave nothing behind. And, of course, if you want to continue the tour on your own once you've finished, you can continue the tour on your own.
Visit the Louvre and take a stroll along the Seine, a double experience!
Enjoy Paris 100% with two of the most sought-after experiences: a cruise on the Seine and a visit to the Louvre. What more could you ask for?
On your trip along the Seine you'll see incredible monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Alexander III Bridge, the Musée d'Orsay and Notre Dame Cathedral from a unique mobile observatory.
And of course, with a ticket to the Louvre Museum you will be amazed by some of the world's most famous works of art, paintings and sculptures such as Leonardo Da Vinci's La Gioconda. More than 5,500 paintings and 2,000 sculptures by artists can be viewed at your own pace. Plus, you'll avoid the usually busy entrance queues.
Buy tickets for the Louvre at the Louvre box office
If you buy your Louvre tickets at the box office you can save two or three euros (the extra handling fee when you buy them online), but in return you will have to wait in long queues and you risk that when you get to the box office they are already sold out for the day and time you want to see the museum.
To avoid this, if you decide to buy your tickets at the box office, try to go early (it opens at 9am) and don't choose a public holiday to visit the museum. With this option, the audioguide is separate for about five euros.
I would also like to take this opportunity to leave you an article with tips on how to see the Louvre with children.
Practical tips for visiting the Louvre
- When to go: The museum is open almost every day of the year except Tuesdays. Any time is a good time to visit this impressive collection, but the evening hours, especially on Wednesdays and Fridays when the museum is open until almost 10pm, and during the lunch hour are usually less crowded. Check all the information about opening hours here.
- How to get there: The Louvre is in the centre of Paris. Entrance is through the glass pyramid and you can also get there directly from the metro stop "Palais Royal Musée du Louvre" on line 1 in Paris. If you have any doubts, see the post how to get to the Louvre.
- Duration of the visit: Seeing the Louvre in less than three hours is pointless unless you take a guided tour, focusing on certain works. I explain the different types here. An in-depth visit will probably take you a day. For more information, visit the post How long does it take to see the Louvre?
- Free admission: There are certain groups who can enter the Louvre for free, such as children under 18, EU citizens under 25, art teachers and disabled people with an accompanying person. There are also some days and times when admission is free for everyone, such as the first Sunday of the month and 14 July (Bastille Day) from 6pm. Even if you have free admission, you must book a day and time slot on the museum's official website. For more details on prices , click here.
- Where to eat: There is a café and restaurant inside the Louvre Museum. This is the best option if you are visiting the museum. In the surrounding area, however, it will be a little more difficult to find places to eat. However, if you want more details, read the post where to eat near the Louvre.
- Visit the shop: I highly recommend you visit the shop, although you will want to try everything, so if you are on a tight budget, think twice.
- How to behave: The Louvre has the usual rules of a major museum. You are allowed to take photographs, you must not touch the works of art, you must maintain a certain level of silence and you are not allowed to bring food into the museum.
The Louvre with children
If you're visiting the museum with children, make sure they won't get tired and run around the corridors and rooms. A very good option is to take a tour of the Louvre adapted for children; this way you will encourage their interest in art and they will enjoy the museum much more.
I recommend this adapted audio tour option so that all members of the family can explore the museum at their own pace, focusing on the topics of most interest.
The most important works to see at the Louvre
Personally, I have never been in a museum where I have seen as many works of art as in the Louvre. If this is the most visited museum in Europe, it is also because it is not only a delight for art lovers, but also because the general visitor will recognise a significant number of the works housed in the museum.
Making a selection of what to see is more difficult at the Louvre than at any other museum (there are 35,000 works of art inside from almost every artistic period and from a variety of provenances). However (and here are some important omissions) if we were to make a top 10 of the best known, it would look something like this:
- La Gioconda by Leonardo Da Vinci: This is the museum's star work. However, before you are "disappointed", I will tell you that you are not going to see it up close; the painting is protected by a security barrier of several metres due to the fact that on several occasions attempts have been made against the painting. Even from a distance, you must see it, as it is the star work of the Renaissance and one of the most mythical paintings in existence.
- Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix: The painting depicts the popular uprising against the crown in Paris in 1830, which ended with the removal of the last Bourbon to reign in France: Charles X. In this work, liberty is represented allegorically as a woman in the centre of the painting holding a flag.
- The Venus de Milo: One of the most representative statues of the Hellenistic period of Greek sculpture. This female figure has not always been a torso without arms, but the way in which she "lost" them is unknown and there are even various theories about how they were represented. The fact is that the perfection of the forms is well worth a few minutes of recreation.
- The Wedding at Cana by Veronese: One of Veronese's most famous paintings. It depicts the first miracle of Jesus Christ; during a wedding the Gospel of St. John says that he turned water into wine. The lighting of the painting and the detail of its characters are worth several minutes of your time.
- The Victory of Samothrace: One of the largest statues you will find in the museum. It represents the Greek goddess Nike, Goddess of Victory. Although its aesthetics (the sculpture lacks a head) has been criticised by many, it is considered a key work of sculpture and you only have to look at the detail of its folds to see for yourself.
- Code of Hammurabi: The most emblematic piece of Mesopotamian art. It contains the civil laws in force during the reign of Hammurabi, making it an essential find to learn more about the culture of this historical period.
Here is a very interesting post in case you want to learn more about these works.
If you are interested in visiting the Louvre, you will also be interested in
The magnitude and fame of the Louvre is such that it is easy to overshadow other museums in the city of Paris. After contemplating all the works in the Louvre it is easy to ask yourself: but can there be more? There is. Paris is full of museums and every one of them is worth a visit.
My favourites are the Musée d'Orsay (a real marvel) and the Pompidou Museum of contemporary art, but the list of options is much longer. If you want to know more you can read this article on Museums Paris.